What Tick Diseases Can Dogs Get?

What Tick Diseases Can Dogs Get?

Ticks, although they are small insects and seem harmless, they can be deadly. They lodge themselves in the skin of warm-blooded mammals and suck their vital liquid. The problem is that they not only suck their blood, but can infect and transmit several types of diseases. If these are not treated correctly, they can become serious health problems. Ticks do not fly, but can crawl or fall onto their hosts. Which, is easily done as they live among tall grass.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors with your pet, continue reading this AnimalWised article on what tick diseases can dogs get? Many of them can affect you too!

What are ticks?

Ticks are external parasites or larger mites that are part of the family of arachnids. These cousins ​​of spiders can transmit diseases and infections to animals and people.

The most common types of ticks are the dog tick, the black-leg tick or deer tick. Dogs and cats attract them from open spaces with lots of vegetation, grass, accumulated leaves or shrubs, and they get more vicious in hot seasons.

Lyme disease

The most feared but common tick-borne disease is Lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks so small that they cannot be seen to the naked eye. When this happens, the diagnosis is more difficult to perform. Once a tick of this type bites, it produces a circular red rash that neither itches nor hurts. But, it is spreading and generates fatigue, intense headaches, swollen lymph nodes, muscular facial and neurological problems. This disease can occur more than once in the same patient.

This pathology is an infection that greatly weakens but is not fatal. However, if not diagnosed and treated properly, it can develop problems such as:

  • Facial paralysis
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological disorders
  • Palpitations

Lyme disease, whether it generates heart, brain or arthritis problems, will be treated through various types of antibiotics that are prescribed by the veterinarian.


The bacterium Francisella tularensis is the cause of turalemia, a bacterial infection transmitted by tick bites and also by mosquitoes and the borriquera fly. The animals most affected by this tick transmitted disease are rodents, but humans can also become infected. The goal of treatment is to cure the infection with antibiotics.

Around 5 to 10 days, the following symptoms will appear:

  • Fever and chills.
  • Painless ulcers in the contact area.
  • Irritation of the eyes, headache and muscle aches.
  • Stiffness in joints, shortness of breath.
  • Weight loss and sweating.

Human Ehrlichiosis

This disease is spread through tick bites infected by three different bacteria: Ehrlichia chaffeensis , Ehrlichia ewingii and Anaplasma. The problem with this disease is that it is more common in children because symptoms usually begin 5 to 10 days after the sting, and if the case becomes severe it can cause severe brain damage. For both pets and humans, part of the treatment is the administration of antibiotics among other medications for a period of at least 6-8 weeks.

Some of the symptoms are similar to influenza: loss of appetite, fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, chills, anemia, low white blood cells (leucopenia), hepatitis, stomach pain, severe cough and in some, cases of rash.

Paralysis by tick

Yes! Ticks are so powerful that they can even cause loss of muscle function. The interesting thing is that when they attach to the skin of people and animals (in most cases dogs), they release a poison that causes paralysis, and it is during this process of subtraction of the blood that the toxin penetrates the bloodstream. It is a double win for these little mites.

Paralysis starts from the feet and goes up all over the body. In addition, in most cases, it produces flu-like symptoms: muscle pain and exhaustion and shortness of breath. Intensive care, nursing support and insecticide baths will be needed as a treatment. As we mentioned, the main species affected of paralysis by a tick bite are dogs, however, cats may also suffer from it.

Anaplasmosis (human granulocytic ehrlichiosis)

Anaplasmosis is another disease that ticks can transmit. It is also an infectious zoonotic pathology, which means it can infect people as well as pets. It is produced by an intracellular bacterium transmitted to humans by the bite of three species of ticks (deer: Ixodes scapularis , Ixodes pacificus and Dermacentor variabilis ). In some houses it causes gastrointestinal disturbances and in the majority it affects white blood cells. Elderly people who have a weak immune system are more sensitive and develop serious life-threatening symptoms, in which case immediate treatment with antibiotics is necessary.

Patients exposed to the disease agent often have problems being diagnosed because of the non-specific nature of the symptoms, as they occur suddenly 7 to 14 days after the bite. Most are headaches, fever, chills, myalgia and malaise that can be confused with other infectious or non-infectious diseases and viruses. Do not miss our article on fever in dogs to know how to act on the way to the vet center.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Tick Diseases Can Dogs Get?, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.


6 Tick-Borne Diseases You Should Know About

Ticks are more than just creepy; they can spread a number of different diseases that affect both pets and people, and with changes in weather patterns, we are seeing the host ranges for these diseases expanding. Ticks can transmit microorganisms that cause Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, hepatozoonosis, and babesiosis and no prevention is 100% effective 100% of the time. So what can you do to protect your pets and your family from tick-borne diseases? Learn the risks below, then about the importance of annual testing, and see more about parasite screening and prevention at Beware the Bug.

Canine ehrlichiosis is a relatively new disease and comes in multiple forms that are often specific to different U.S. regions. The disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Ehrlichia, which can affect multiple species including people and cats. Learn more about different forms of ehrlichiosis or see the number of reported cases in dogs in your area.

Canine anaplasmosis can be found throughout the United States, primarily in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central states, as well as California. Caused by a bacteria transmitted from ticks that have previously bitten host animals such as deer and rodents , anaplasmosis can cause joint pain, high fever, and more. Find out more about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of canine anaplasmosis or see the number of reported cases of canine anaplasmosis in your area.

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The bacteria that causes Lyme disease is transmitted by two types of ticks – the Western black-legged tick and the deer tick – and can affect dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. The geographic range of Lyme disease is expanding and is now found in more U.S. states and some Canadian provinces. Ticks are often hard to spot, making it incredibly difficult to spot a tick bite, and symptoms of Lyme disease are often difficult to detect until several months after infection. Learn more about Lyme disease and the importance of protecting your pet or see the number of reported Lyme disease cases in dogs in your area.

Despite its name, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is found throughout the U.S. and Canada. This infection can appear suddenly, with severe illness that can be life threatening if not diagnosed quickly. Find out what to watch for and how it’s diagnosed.

This tick-borne disease is caused by a blood parasite that infects a dog’s red blood cells. Dogs can become infected when feeding ticks pass the microscopic parasites, known as Babesia, to them. Like other tick-borne diseases, symptoms are often vague and sometimes difficult to identify. Learn more about signs, symptoms, and treatment of babesiosis.

Unlike other vector-borne diseases that are transmitted by tick bite, both forms of canine hepatozoonosis are transmitted when a dog eats or otherwise ingests an infected tick. Like other tick-borne diseases, symptoms are difficult to detect, but can include loss of appetite, weight loss, and depression. Learn more about canine hepatozoonosis from our sister site, Dogs and Ticks.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.


Tick-borne diseases in dogs: What are the risks for our pets, and for us?

The risk of ticks to dogs

Tick disease symptoms in dogs vary depending on the specific disease.


Ticks can transmit babesiosis, a disease that can be fatal in dogs. This parasite invades the dog’s red blood cells, causing severe anaemia.

Symptoms of babesiosis in dogs can include weakness, lethargy, pale gums, red urine, yellowing skin and fever.

Babesiosis is transmitted to dogs from the brown dog tick, possibly the bush tick and even through dog bites. These ticks are common throughout Australia. Babesiosis is more prevalent in the subtropical and tropical northern regions of Australia, but has also been diagnosed in dogs from southeastern Australia. Dingoes can also be infected and act as a reservoir of the disease for pet dogs.


This disease is emerging in Australia, and can cause serious health symptoms in dogs. The platelets in the blood are affected which can lead to fever, lethargy and bleeding disorders.

The ticks that spread these blood-borne diseases are found throughout Australia, and the disease risks they pose to your dogs are different depending on the region. Regular tick protection can help protect your dog from these diseases.


Canine Tick-Borne Disease

Thousands of dogs are infected annually with dangerous tick-transmitted diseases. Ticks are parasites that attach themselves to dogs, feed on blood and transmit diseases directly into the dog’s system. Major tick-borne diseases transmitted to dogs in the United States include:

Lyme disease, which comes from the deer tick, can cause stiffness, lameness, swollen joints, loss of appetite, fever and fatigue. Your dog may not show signs of the disease until several months after infected.

Canine Ehrlichiosis, found worldwide, is the most common and one of the most dangerous tick-borne disease organisms known to infect dogs. Caused by the brown dog tick, symptoms may not surface for months after transmission, and can include fever, loss of appetite, depression, weight loss, runny eyes and nose, nose bleeds and swollen limbs.

Canine Anaplasmosis, also called dog fever or dog tick fever, is transmitted from the deer tick. Symptoms are similar to other tick diseases including fever, loss of appetite, stiff joints and lethargy, but also can include vomiting, diarrhea. In extreme cases, dogs may suffer seizures.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever comes from the American dog tick, the wood tick and the lone star tick. Symptoms include fever, stiffness, neurological problems and skin lesions. Typically the illness lasts about two weeks, but serious cases could result in death.

Canine Babesiosis is typically transmitted by the American dog tick and the brown dog tick. Causing anemia, symptoms may also include pale gums, weakness and vomiting.

Canine Bartonellosis comes from the brown dog tick. Symptoms are intermittent lameness and fever. Left untreated, this disease can result in heart or liver disease.

Canine Hepatozoonosis is thought to be transmitted by the brown dog tick and Gulf Coast ticks. Your dog can be infected if he eats one of these disease-carrying ticks. Symptoms are fever, runny eyes and nose, muscle pain and diarrhea with the presence of blood.


The key to curing tick-borne disease is early diagnosis and treatment. Several broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat tick-borne disease are generally effective, especially in the early stages of the disease. Since antibiotics don’t differentiate «good» from «bad» bacteria, antibiotic treatment destroys beneficial bacteria, along with disease-causing organisms. You may therefore want to give your dog probiotics to avoid the development of gastrointestinal problems. Be sure to follow the treatment plan recommended by your veterinarian.


• The broad spectrum of possible symptoms associated with tick-borne diseases in dogs (including no symptoms) makes annual screening for tick disease a vital component of your pet’s annual veterinary exam. Tests are fast, with results while you wait.

• Numerous products and medications to prevent ticks on your dog are available both over the counter and from your veterinarian. Some veterinarians suggest a tick collar and and/or a preventative vaccination. No method offers 100 percent protection.

• Field dogs are especially vulnerable to tick-borne diseases because of time spent in tick-infested environments. Owners should therefore be diligent about applying topical or systemic tick-control treatments before outings.

• If the worst happens and you see scores of ticks crawling the walls inside your house, call a professional exterminator and move out for a while to let them work and allow the chemicals time to dissipate before you move back in.

• If you live in an environment with a high tick population, success has been reported with dry ice tick traps. Inexpensive and easy to construct, you need a Styrofoam-covered ice bucket or small cooler, a tool to punch holes in the Styrofoam, up to two pounds of dry ice, a piece of ply board or heavy cardboard, and masking tape. Begin by punching four tiny holes in the Styrofoam container to allow the carbon dioxide vapors from the dry ice to draw ticks. Place the container on the ply board or heavy cardboard. Place strips of masking tape to cover the board with the sticky side of the tape facing up. Add dry ice to the container, cover, and place the trap in a tick prone area. Ticks will begin moving toward the carbon dioxide emitting dry ice and become trapped on the masking tape.

• Check your dog for ticks daily during tick season: spring, summer and fall, or year-round in warmer climates. Brush your fingers through his fur, applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps. If you feel a bump, pull the fur apart to identify it. An embedded tick will vary in size, from a pinhead to a grape. Ticks are usually black or dark brown. Depending on the size and location of the tick, its legs may also be visible. Tick-borne disease can be transmitted within 3 — 6 hours of a tick bite.

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• If you find a tick, consider bringing your dog to a veterinary clinic where a veterinarian or technician can remove the tick safely and show you how it’s done. Removing embedded ticks is a delicate operation, because a piece might break off and remain in your dog’s skin if removal is done improperly. Ticks should be removed promptly to avoid infection.


Tick-borne disease can rebound rapidly if your dog’s treatment only succeeded in suppressing, rather that killing ticks. Since recurring tick diseases are harder to control or eradicate, don’t relax too soon if your dog recovers. A dog in recovery may appear to be doing well and eager to get back to everything you once did together, but that doesn’t mean that his body is ready for it yet. When your dog has been sick, he needs time to recover and rebuild strength. To further protect your dog, remain vigilant with regular blood work to detect recurrences.

Finally, to make an informed decision about protecting your dog from tick-borne disease, talk to your veterinarian about the best tick-control approach for your dog.


What diseases can dogs get from ticks

Thousands of dogs are infected annually with dangerous tick-transmitted diseases. Ticks are parasites that attach themselves to dogs, feed on blood and transmit diseases directly into the dogs system. Major tick-borne diseases transmitted to dogs in the United States include: Lyme disease, which comes from the deer tick, can cause.

Keeping Your Dog Safe from Tick Bites Hill’s Pet

This tick-borne disease is caused by a blood parasite that infects a dog’s red blood cells. Dogs can become infected when feeding ticks pass the. Dwarf neon rainbow fish diseaseswhat diseases can dogs get from ticks How tick-borne diseases can affect your pets – YouTube Everything you need to know about dogs & ticks: identifying different types of ticks, what diseases they can cause and how to prevent future tick bites.

What Tick Diseases Can Dogs Get? – Animal Wised

Ticks are more than just creepy; they can spread a number of different diseases that affect both pets and people. And each year, thousands of dogs become. Keeping Your Dog Safe from Tick Bites Hill’s Petwhat diseases can dogs get from ticksTicks on dogs can cause lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis. There have been sightings of the brown dog tick and concerns have been.

You might not think much about the skin irritation caused by ticks-but humans need to be aware of the dangerous diseases caused by them. Tick control products can be used for ongoing tick prevention. Never pull off ticks from humans or dogs skin without following the correct steps for their removal (using tweezers). Can Dogs Get Sick from Ticks? – WagWalking Possum diseases If bitten by the American dog tick, theres a risk it can give you the bacterial disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the incidence of which appears to be increasing. In 2017, there were 6,248. 7 Types of Ticks That Transmit Diseases – How to Identify

Are Dog Ticks Dangerous To Humans? – Pest Guides

What tick diseases can you get from a dog tick? So, do dog ticks affect humans? Yes, specifically if the disease is zoonosis. It is important to know, however, that a dog does not transmit the disease to people directly. It is the tick that does this. This is why we insist that prevention and control is key in making sure our dogs are not. Ticks On Dogs What Are The Dangers And What To Do If You Find If you spend time outdoors or have pets that go outdoors, you need to beware of ticks. Some of the diseases you can get from a tick bite are Lyme disease,.


What are tick-borne diseases?

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Ticks are more than just an irritation to your dog. Ticks can transmit diseases which, at worst, can be fatal to dogs and — although very rarely — humans.

Traditionally more common in spring and autumn, ticks are becoming active at other times of year due to changeable weather conditions in the UK. And with an exotic tick species previously only seen in Continental Europe now residing in Britain, it’s important for owners to be clued up on ticks.

What are ticks?

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites which are normally picked up by dogs in long grass or in woodland areas. The tick eggs are laid in grassland, hatch into small ticks, and then moult twice before becoming adults. At each stage of the life cycle a blood meal is taken to allow development to continue. In order to do this, ticks crawl up grass stems and attach to the next passing mammal.

The main tick species in the UK most commonly affecting domestic pets are ixodes ricinus (sheep tick), ixodes hexagonus (hedgehog tick), and ixodes canisuga.

«Sheep ticks are the most common in the UK and are evenly distributed around the country — they prefer moorland and woodland,» explained Amy Jennett, from Bristol Veterinary School. «Hedgehog ticks tend to be in parks and urban environments and seem to be restricted to small southern and central regions. Canisuga tend to be kennel ticks. Ticks are predominantly seen in spring and autumn. However, if it’s been a particularly mild winter or wet summer they might be around earlier in the year and active for longer.»

When an infected tick hooks on to your pet it can pass on any disease it might be carrying. Ticks don’t usually transmit disease for 24 – 48 hours after attachment, so early removal can prevent this happening. Ticks can’t jump or fly, but they are opportunistic.

There are many tick species native to the UK, but fortunately the list of diseases they transmit is small. Taking your dog abroad opens him up to the risk of foreign ticks and the diseases they might carry. With climate change and the relaxed pet travel legislation, which says it is no longer compulsory for dogs to be treated for ticks before entering the UK, it is also possible foreign ticks could reach our shores.

How to spot a tick

«Ticks at the larvae stage are harder to spot, but adult ticks are quite obvious — they resemble small, pale grey lumps,» said Amy. «People often mistake them for growths. Run your hands through your dog’s fur and check it — doing this regularly is key. If you do find a tick remove it as quickly as possible. Ticks are harder to spot in longer-haired dogs than short-haired breeds. Check the armpits, head, ears, around the bottom, and undercarriage.»

Some dogs may scratch a lot if they have fleas and some may not, so here’s a list of other signs to look out for.

  • Red bites on your dog’s skin.
  • Itching and scratching.
  • Hair loss or thinning of the coat.
  • Patches of skin irritation or skin infections.
  • Flea bites on you or your family’s skin (commonly around the ankles).
  • Flea poo in your dog’s coat (look out for black-red specks).
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It’s important to check your dog regularly for fleas. These parasites love to hide behind your dog’s ears, around the head, and at the base of the tail. Use a comb to part the fur and check the area at the root of the hair, as this is where you may find fleas and any flea poo.

Even if you don’t spot any evidence of fleas on your dog, it doesn’t necessarily mean he is flea-free. If in doubt, take your dog to your vet for a check-up, as he or she will also be able to rule out any other causes of scratching, such as allergies and mites. Prevention is easier than cure, so keeping these creepy critters out of your and your pet’s life in the first place is key. However, it’s not uncommon to have a flea infestation on your pet or in your home at some point. Sadly, there is no quick fix, and getting an infestation resolved can take three months or more.

Here are some top tips for tackling a flea infestation:

  • Treat all cats and dogs in the household with a flea product that kills both fleas and their eggs.
  • Wash pet bedding at 60°C.
  • Vacuum the whole house regularly and dispose of the bag frequently.
  • Treat your home at the same time as you treat your pets with a suitable household flea spray

How to find fleas on dogs

Take a small sheet of white paper (kitchen towel works best), and moisten it, hold it near the base of the dog’s back, and brush or scratch him vigorously in the same area holding the paper close by. Black specs of dirt/dust will fly on to the paper. Any that dissolve in the water on the paper to leave a reddish smudge are flea faeces containing blood.

Tick-borne diseases

Ticks can cause skin irritation or other skin reactions such as localised swelling. Some ticks also carry diseases in their saliva. The main disease that can be transmitted by ticks in the UK is Lyme disease — a debilitating chronic infection caused by the bacteria borrelia burgdorferi.

Cases of tick-borne diseases have reportedly been on the rise, and a study by Bristol University estimated there are 481 infected ticks per 100,000 dogs. Professor Michael Day, president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, encourages dog owners to protect their pets against the parasites. «Because ticks feed on a number of different animals, they can transmit diseases between wild animals and domestic dogs,» he said.

«While the majority of ticks are found in pasture and woodland, some species can be found in domestic environments such as homes and kennels. If you find a tick on your dog, it should be removed. The most important thing is to get the entire tick out of your pet — if you’re not confident or have any concerns, consult your vet immediately.»

Symptoms of tick-borne diseases include:

  • Lethargy.
  • Fever.
  • Repeated episodes of arthritis in several joints.
  • Lack of appetite.

Anaplasmosis — a disease affecting the red blood cells which can cause anaemia in dogs — is also transmitted by ticks but is not very common in the UK.

What diseases can ticks transmit?

There are lots of tick-borne diseases worldwide but UK dog owners need to be most aware of:

  • Lyme disease(borreliosis): The only disease carried by UK ticks. An infected dog might be lethargic, have a fever, lose his appetite, or begin to struggle with arthritis. In chronic cases Lyme disease can cause kidney, heart, or nerve problems, which can be fatal. Symptoms can occur a long time after the infective bite. Ticks are commonly found in woodland.
  • Babesiosis: This disease is rare in Britain but can be a risk if you take your dog abroad. Symptoms include lethargy, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, anaemia, and a yellowing of the skin between eight and 21 days after infection. The disease can strike suddenly and be fatal. Dogs who recover from babesiosis remain carriers of the disease and need to be monitored in case of a relapse.
  • Anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis: Although this disease doesn’t occur naturally in Britain, there have been reported cases of infected dogs in the UK. An infected dog might display signs of fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, depression, and, in severe cases, meningitis or seizures.

What do ticks do?

A tick will attach itself to a dog by burrowing its mouth into the skin; it will remain attached until it has sucked enough blood and then drop off to digest the meal. A tick’s body will swell during feeding as it fills with blood.

What to do if you find a tick

Resist the temptation to pluck them from your dog as the mouth parts can remain in the skin and produce festering sores.

Never try to burn ticks out or squeeze them — these methods are more likely to injure your dog, and squeezing ticks can release toxins into your dog’s body.

A tick removal tool is the safest implement to use to get rid of ticks (see below).

Use preventative measures to prevent your dog from getting ticks in the first instance. Several flea treatments are effective against ticks.

Facts about ticks

  • Ticks vary in size from a millimetre or so up to about half a centimetre in diameter.
  • Fifteen species of tick exist in the UK, but only three affect domestic animals such as dogs.
  • Ticks are arthropods and related to spiders, mites, and scorpions.

Prevent your dog from getting ticks

When it comes to tick-borne diseases, prevention is better than cure. Regularly check your dog for ticks. Ticks that are not engorged can be tiny, as small as 1mm. When stroking or grooming your dog look out for ticks, and remember to check those harder-to-reach areas such as between the pads and toes. If you find a tick on your pet it is important to remove it safely, as incorrect removal can result in the transmission of infected fluids.

There are some tick prevention products on the market. Very few repel ticks, while several only kill ticks, and can take up to 48 hours to do so. It is important to understand what the product you choose does, and always check if it needs more frequent application for tick control.

If you live in an area where ticks are prevalent you can vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease. If your dog has been bitten by a tick and is showing symptoms of a tick-borne disease, seek veterinary help as soon as possible. The quicker a tick-borne disease can be diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of recovery.

How to remove a tick safely

When removing one of these parasites from your dog, you need to detach the whole of the tick. Injuring it can cause infected fluids to pass from the tick into your dog’s bloodstream.

The best way to remove a tick is to use a tick-removal tool. There are different products available but the O’Tom Tick Twister is highly recommended by professionals (www.otom.com).

Never try to burn or freeze a tick off your dog. This can be painful and is likely to cause the tick to regurgitate infected fluids.

Once the tick is removed, disinfect the bite and wash your hands thoroughly.

To dispose of a tick, place it in some tissue and flush it away.

  • Go through your dog’s coat carefully and thoroughly after each walk.
  • Remover any ticks straight away.


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